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Participation in apprenticeships

The main facts and figures show that:

  • between 2008/09 and 2015/16, the percentage of apprentices from ethnic minority ethnic groups (excluding White minorities) increased from 6.7% to 10.6%

  • the number of people from ethnic minority groups (excluding White minorities) who participated in apprenticeships grew by 3 times over the reported period, from 29,980 to 95,200

  • total apprenticeship participation more than doubled, from 444,800 to 899,400

  • in 2015/16, 88.0% of apprentices were from a White background, which is higher than their share of the overall population (84.6%)

Things you need to know

Data collected before 2011 has not been reclassified to the 2011 Census ethnicity groupings. This means data from 2008/09 to 2010/11 is not directly comparable to data collected after that period.

This methodology change also means that apprenticeship participation numbers are overrepresented by an estimated 1 to 2% for reporting periods from 2008/09 to 2010/11.

What the data measures

This data measures people studying for one or more apprenticeship aims (an individual learning module as part of an apprenticeship), funded by government. Each reporting period covers an academic year, which runs from 1 August to 31 July.

A person studying for more than one apprenticeship aim with one training provider will be counted once. However, a person who studies with more than one provider will be counted separately at each provider, resulting in 2 or more participants being counted. A training provider is an organisation that offers apprenticeship training.

To provide additional context, the percentage of apprenticeship starts by ethnic group has been compared to population estimates (2015) published by ONS.

The ethnic categories used in this data

Data from 2011/12 onwards has been classified using the 5 standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 census. Data collected before 2011 has been reclassified to the 2011 census definitions. However it is not directly comparable with data from 2011/12 onwards because of the different methodology used.

  • White

  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups

  • Asian/Asian British

  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British

  • Other ethnic group

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Number of apprenticeships

Number of apprentices by ethnicity

Year All Asian Black Mixed White Other Unknown Ethnic minority (excl.White Minorities)
2008/09 444,800 13,720 7,840 6,430 410,960 1,990 3,830 29,980
2009/10 491,300 14,440 10,010 7,890 452,680 2,330 3,920 34,670
2010/11 665,900 24,540 17,950 11,380 602,420 4,140 5,460 58,010
2011/12 806,500 31,640 25,450 14,290 722,760 5,540 6,800 76,920
2012/13 868,700 32,800 28,500 16,200 776,200 6,000 9,000 83,500
2013/14 851,500 34,000 27,400 17,000 758,400 5,500 9,100 83,900
2014/15 871,800 37,000 29,500 18,300 773,400 5,900 7,600 90,700
2015/16 899,400 38,400 31,500 19,100 791,700 6,200 12,500 95,200

Summary

This data shows that:

  • the number of apprentices who were Black grew by 4 times over the reported period, from 7,840 to 31,500

  • the number of apprentices who were Asian, Mixed or Other ethnic background grew by 3 times over the reported period, from 13,720 to 38,400; 6,430 to 19,100 and 1,990 to 6,200 respectively

  • the number of apprentices who were White doubled over the reported period, from 410,960 to 791,700

Representation of ethnic groups in apprenticeships

Percentage of apprentices by ethnicity compared to the overall population

Ethnicity Apprentices Population (2015 estimate)
Asian 4.3 8.2
Black 3.5 3.7
Mixed 2.1 2.6
White 88.0 84.6
Other 0.7 1.1

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2015/16, 88.0% of apprentices were from a White background, which is higher than their share of the overall population (84.6%)

  • only 4.3% of all apprentices were Asian, which is less than their estimated share of the overall population (8.2%)

  • the percentage of all other ethnic groups' on apprenticeships was similar to the overall population

Percentage of apprenticeships by ethnicity

Percentage of apprentices by ethnicity

Year Asian Black Mixed White Other Unknown Ethnic minority (excl. White minorities)
2008/09 3.1 1.8 1.4 92.4 0.4 0.9 6.7
2009/10 2.9 2.0 1.6 92.1 0.5 0.8 7.0
2010/11 3.7 2.7 1.7 90.5 0.6 0.8 8.7
2011/12 3.9 3.2 1.8 89.6 0.7 0.8 9.6
2012/13 3.8 3.3 1.9 89.4 0.7 1.0 9.7
2013/14 4.0 3.2 2.0 89.1 0.6 1.1 9.8
2014/15 4.2 3.4 2.1 88.7 0.7 0.9 10.4
2015/16 4.3 3.5 2.1 88.0 0.7 1.4 10.6

Summary

This data shows that:

  • since 2008/09, the percentage of apprentices who were White has gradually declined, with 88.0% of apprenticeship starts in 2015/16 coming from a White background, compared to 92.4% in 2002/03, which is broadly in line with population change over the same period

  • in the period since 2008/09, among ethnic minority groups, the highest percentage of apprentices were from an Asian background (4.3% in 2015/16)

Methodology and type of data

Type of data

Admin data / management information

Purpose of data source

The Individualised Learner Record (ILR) uses admin data collected about learners by colleges and other Further Education (FE) institutions. Data about learner demographics and the type of learning are captured by Education and Skills Funding Agency ESFA to allocate FE funding. Data on FE learners that form part of the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP) are gathered from employers in the same format as the ILR and included in the ILR dataset. The final data are published annually by DfE as a national statistics release. More detailed explanation is available in the further technical information section.

Methodology

These data are based on the ILR. The ILR is submitted by FE providers to the ESFA for funding purposes. It does not include privately funded learners. A learner studying several courses with one provider will be counted only once. However, a learner studying at 2 or more providers in a year will be counted separately at each provider.

Rounding

Category level data are rounded to the nearest 10 to avoid identification of individuals. Numbers less than 5 are suppressed. Totals are rounded to 100.

Further technical information

Completion of the ILR by FE providers is necessary for colleges to receive funding. Ethnicity data is completed by the learner and are taken as reported. We do not adjust the data.

All providers must send records for learners financed by Advanced Learner Loans. Training organisations are asked to send details of apprenticeships that are not funded by the ESFA where they are delivered within the terms of a ESFA contract. For higher and degree level apprenticeships, HEIs must send an ILR return for all apprenticeship standards and for 16-18 apprenticeship frameworks.

Further information is available on the ILR

Technical information related to the public dissemination of this information can be found in the latest SFR

Data source details

Source

Apprenticeship statistics

Department

Department for Education and Education and Skills Funding Agency

Type of statistic

National statistic

Suppression rules

Category level data are rounded to the nearest 10 to avoid identification of individuals. Numbers less than 5 are suppressed. Totals are rounded to 100.

Disclosure control

Category level data are rounded to the nearest 10 to avoid identification of individuals. Numbers less than 5 are suppressed. Totals are rounded to 100.

Download the data

participation-in-apprenticeships.csv

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, numerator and denominator